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Yaakov Stern, PhD

  • Professor of Neuropsychology (in Neurology, in Psychiatry, in the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center and in the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain) at CUMC
  • Chief, Neurocognitive Science Division, Department of Neurology
Yaakov Stern, PhD

Yaakov Stern is a Professor of Neuropsychology in the Departments of Neurology, Psychiatry, and Psychology, and the Taub Institute for the Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain, at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Stern directs the Cognitive Neuroscience Division of the Department of Neurology.

Dr. Stern received his BA in Psychology from Touro College in 1975. He received his doctoral training in the Experimental Cognition Program at City University of New York, where he received his PhD in 1983. Dr. Stern began his association with Columbia University Medical Center in 1979, when he began working on his dissertation research on cognition in Parkinson's disease. After receiving his PhD, he was appointed postdoctoral research scientist in 1983, and eventually Professor in 1996.

Dr. Stern’s research focuses on cognition in normal aging and in diseases of aging, particularly Alzheimer’s disease. One strong focus of his current research program is investigating the neural basis of cognitive reserve. He is also conducting a large scale imaging study to identify unique neural networks underlying the major cognitive abilities affected by aging. His research approach includes classic neuropsychological and cognitive experimental techniques, with a strong focus on functional imaging. He has published over 550 peer-reviewed papers, numerous chapters, and edited a book on cognitive reserve.

Dr. Stern has supervised numerous postdoctoral fellows. He has served as associate editor of the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society and on the editorial board of the journals Neuropsychology and Aging Neuropsychology and Cognition. He is currently on the editorial board of The Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology and the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.

Cognitive Reserve: I am interested in understanding why some individuals show more cognitive deficit than others given the same degree of brain pathology.  My own research, and that of others in the field, has shown that aspects of life experience, such as educational or occupational attainment, can impart reserve against brain pathology, allowing some people to maintain function longer than others.  Ongoing imaging studies are designed to explore how this "cognitive reserve" is implemented in the brain.

Cognitive Intervention in Normal Aging: We are exploring potential non-pharmacologic interventions that might improve cognition or cognitive/functional outcomes in normal aging. Currently we are completeing an aerobic exercise intervention.

Cognitive Aging: We are trying to understand why some cognitive processes are more affected by aging then others.  Age-related change as measured by cognitive tasks can summarized into four domains, or latent variables. We are imaged individuals, from 20 through 80 years of age, with 12 tasks, 3 from each domain, and trying to dermine if we can identify a common neural substrate for each domain. We are now following these people over time to investigate how these netwoks are affected by aging.

Heterogeneity of Alzheimer's Disease: I am conducting  a study designed to explore individual differences in the rate of decline and in the manifestation of cognitive, behavioral, psychiatric, and neurologic features in patients with Alzheimer's disease.  For one aim of this study, we have devloped an algorithm for the prediction of important disease endpoints in individual patients. We are also exploring the economic impact of the disease.

My primary research addresses the neural bais for cognitive aging and cognitive reserve.

Departmental Appointments

  • Department of Neurology
    Division of Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Department of Psychiatry
    Division of Geriatric Psychiatry

Areas of Expertise

  • Psychology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Psychotherapy

    Education & Training

  • City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center

Centers/Institutes/Programs

  • Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center
  • Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain

Provider Affiliations

  • NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia

This provider does not accept new patients

Contact Phone Number: (212) 342-1350

Lab Locations

  • 630 West 168th Street
    P&S Box 16
    New York, NY 10032
    Phone:
    (212) 342-1350
    Fax:
    (212) 342-1838
    Email:
    ys11@cumc.columbia.edu

Research Interests

  • Cognitive Experimental and Neuroimaging Studies in Aging and Dementia
  • Brain Imaging
  • Neuropsychology

NIH Grants

  • PREDICTORS OF SEVERITY IN ALZHEIMER S DISEASE (Federal Gov)

    Jun 15 2017 - May 31 2022

    IMAGING OF COGNITION, LEARNING AND MEMORY IN AGING (Federal Gov)

    May 1 2017 - Mar 31 2022

    EXPLORING COGNITIVE AGING USING REFERENCE ABILITY NEURAL NETWORKS (Federal Gov)

    Aug 1 2016 - Jun 30 2021

    STATIN NEUROPROTECTION & COGNITIVE DYSFUNCTION AFTER CAROID ENDARTERECTOMY (Federal Gov)

    Sep 1 2016 - May 31 2021

    BENFOTIAMINE IN ALZHEIMER S DISEASE: A PILOT STUDY (Federal Gov)

    Sep 1 2014 - May 31 2019

    SERVICESPROVIDING THE DATA SET ENCOMPASSING INITIAL AND FOLLOW-UP DATA FROM PATIENTS IN THE "PREDICTORS 2" COHORT (THE MATERIALS). (P&S Industry Clinical Trial)

    May 23 2014 - May 23 2019

    RETROSPECTIVE MEDICARE CLAIMS ANALYSIS TO UNDERSTAND THE LINKAGE OF A POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE AMYLOID PET SCAN WITH THE DIAGNOSTIC AND TREATMENT PATTERNS, HEALTHCARE UTILIZATION, AND DIRECT MEDICAL CARE COSTS AMONG SUBJECTS (P&S Industry Clinical Trial)

    Feb 7 2014 - Feb 7 2019

    OLFACTORY DEFICITS AND DONEPEZIL TREATMENT IN COGNITIVELY IMPAIRED ELDERLY (Federal Gov)

    Jun 15 2013 - May 31 2018

    PHYSICAL AND MENTAL FATIGABILITY IN LATE LIFE CLINICAL POPULATIONS (Federal Gov)

    Sep 1 2016 - Apr 30 2018

    GENE-ENVIRONMENT INTERACTION IN COGNITION IN VENEZUELAN FAMILIES (Federal Gov)

    Aug 1 2011 - Apr 30 2018

    THE RELATION OF WALNUT CONSUMPTION TO COGNITIVE FUNCTION AND MRI CHANGES IN NORMAL ADULTS: A PILOT STUDY (Sponsored Government Other)

    Jul 1 2015 - Dec 31 2017

    ALZHEIMER S DISEASE NEUROIMAGING INITIATIVE 3 (ADNI3) (Federal Gov)

    Sep 15 2016 - Jul 31 2017

    TARGETING DOPAMINERGIC MECHANISMS OF SLOWING TO IMPROVE LATE LIFE DEPRESSION (Federal Gov)

    Aug 1 2016 - May 31 2017

    EXERCISE, AGING, AND COGNITION: EFFECT AND MECHANISMS (Federal Gov)

    Aug 1 2010 - May 31 2017

    PROTECTION AGAINST COGNITIVE DECLINE IN MS: LONGITUDINAL INVESTIGATION OF RESERVE (Federal Gov)

    Jul 11 2016 - Apr 30 2017

    EPIDEMIOLOGY OF BIOMARKERS OF RISK AND PROGRESSION IN LOAD (Federal Gov)

    May 1 2010 - Apr 30 2017

    PROSPECTIVE STUDY OF CLINICALLY NON-FUNCTIONING PITUITARY ADENOMAS (Federal Gov)

    Mar 1 2010 - Feb 28 2017

    EFFECTS OF TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY (TBI) AND POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD) ON ALZHEIMER S DISEASE (AD) IN VETERANS USING IMAGING AND BIOMARKERS IN THE AD NEUROIMAGING INITIATIVE (ADNI) (DOD) (Federal Gov)

    Oct 30 2015 - Feb 20 2017

    BENFOTIAMINE IN ALZHEIMER S DISEASE: A PILOT STUDY (Private)

    Jan 1 2015 - Dec 31 2016

    EFFECTS OF TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY AND POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER ON ALZHEIMER S DISEASE (AD) IN VETERANS WITH MILD COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT (MC) USING THE ALZHEIMER S DISEASE NEUROIMAGING INITIATIVE ( (Federal Gov)

    Oct 30 2015 - Sep 29 2016

    EFFECTS OF TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY AND POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER AND ALZHEIMER S DISEASE ON BRAIN TAU IN VIETNAM VETERANS USING ADNI (Federal Gov)

    Oct 30 2015 - Sep 21 2016

    FGF-23 AND PHOSPHORUS IN STROKE, SUBCLINICAL VASCULAR DAMAGE, AND COGNITION (Federal Gov)

    Mar 16 2012 - Feb 28 2016

    NEUROPHYSIOLOGICAL BIOMARKERS FOR AD DRUG DEVELOPMENT (Private)

    Jan 15 2015 - Jan 15 2016

    STROKE INCIDENCE AND RISK FACTORS IN A TRI-ETHNIC REGION (Federal Gov)

    Sep 30 2015 - Dec 31 2015

    ALZHEIMER''S DISEASE NEUROIMAGING INITIATIVE, (ADNI) (Federal Gov)

    Mar 1 2007 - Aug 31 2015

    ALZHEIMER S DISEASE NEUROIMAGING INITIATIVE, (ADNI) (Federal Gov)

    Jun 1 2005 - Aug 31 2015

    DIETARY FACTORS AND NEUROIMAGING MARKERS (Federal Gov)

    Jun 1 2013 - May 31 2015

    NEUROPSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITION IN AGING (Federal Gov)

    Jun 15 1998 - Apr 30 2015

    STROKE INCIDENCE AND RISK FACTORS IN A TRI-ETHNIC REGION (Federal Gov)

    Apr 1 2008 - Mar 31 2015

    ALZHEIMER S DISEASE NEUROIMAGING INITIATIVE (Federal Gov)

    Feb 21 2012 - Feb 20 2015

    MULTICENTER STUDY ON EXCEPTIONAL SURVIVAL IN FAMILIES (Federal Gov)

    Sep 1 2010 - Aug 31 2014

    COMBINED EXERCISE AND COGNITIVE TRAINING INTERVENTION IN NORMAL AGING (Federal Gov)

    Sep 15 2009 - Aug 31 2014

    MECHANISM OF COGNITIVE DYSFUNCTION: CEA AND STENTING (Federal Gov)

    Dec 1 1999 - Jun 30 2014

    COMBINED EXERCISE AND COGNITIVE TRAINING INTERVENTION IN NOR MAL AGING: IMAGING COMPONENT (Private)

    Aug 1 2010 - Jul 31 2012

    APOE AND DEPENDENCE RESEARCH PROJECT (Private)

    Oct 28 2010 - Oct 27 2011

    AMYLOID IMAGING, VMCI, AND ANALYSIS FOR ADNI (Federal Gov)

    Sep 30 2009 - Aug 31 2011

    EFFECT OF SLEEP DEPRIVATION ON FMRI-MEASURED COGNITIVE NETWO RKS (Federal Gov)

    Mar 15 2002 - Oct 31 2010

    BEHAVIORAL & IMAGING APPROACHES TO IMPLICIT MEMORY IN AGING (Federal Gov)

    May 1 1999 - Aug 31 2006

Publications

  • Stern, Y. (2002). What is cognitive reserve? Theory and research applications of the reserve concept. J. Internat. Neuropsycholog. Soc. (JINS), 8: 448-460.
  • Stern Y, Zarahn E, Habeck C, Holtzer R, Rakitin BC, Kumar A, Flynn J, Steffener J, Brown T. A common neural network for cognitive reserve in verbal and object working memory in young but not old. Cerebral Cortex 2008;18:959-967.
  • Stern, Y. Cognitive reserve. Neuropsychologia 2009;47:2015–2028.
  • Stern Y, Blumen H, Rich L, Richards A, Herzberg G, Gopher D. Space fortress game training and executive control in older adults: a pilot intervention. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition 2011;18(6);653-77.
  • Steffener J, Stern Y. Exploring the neural basis of cognitive reserve in aging. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) 2011;1822(3);467-73.
  • Gazes Y, Rakitin B, Habeck C, Steffener J, Stern Y. Age differences of multivariate network expressions during task-switching and their associations with behavior. Neuropsychologia Sep 2012;50(14);3509-18.
  • Stern Y, Rakitin B, Habeck C, Gazes Y, Steffener J, Kumar A, Reuben A. Task difficulty modulates young-old differences in network expression. Brain Res 2012;1435:130-45.
  • Razlighi QR, Stallard E, Brandt J, Blacker D, Albert M, Scarmeas N, Kinosian B, Yashin AI, Stern Y. A new algorithm for predicting time to disease endpoints in Alzheimer's patients. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 2014;38(3):661-668.
  • Steffener J, Barulli D, Habeck C, O'Shea D, Razlighi Q, Stern Y. The role of education and verbal abilities in altering the effect of age-related gray matter differences on cognition. PLoS One. 2014 Mar 13;9(3):e91196. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091196. eCollection 2014.

For a complete list of publications, please visit PubMed.gov